Sunday, September 30, 2007

Check This Out

If you read this blog and do not read Greg Kendall-Balls blog, I would like to ask that you link over to his blog and read this post:

Besides being an incredible thinker and a gifted photographer he is also a friend of ours. Greg literally grew up before my eyes. His family attended church with ours in South Africa. My Mom loved Greg, Jordan and Jenni like they were her own kids.

He is being given an incredible opportunity and if you can help him achieve this please do. Look for the little donate button and if you can give anything at all it will help make this trip a reality.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Heroes Saints & Ordinary Morality

I have just completed a fascinating read by Andrew Flescher, Heroes Saints & Ordinary Morality. It is not a quick read or even an easy one. But, it is a rich one. I know I will need to reread this book, several times perhaps, before I really "get it" but after this first read I have been struck by several things. Flescher looks back at traditional approaches to ethics that suggest there is a sharp distinction between those we might call heroes and saints and the majority of us ordinary people. He looks at the views upheld by Urmson and Heyd and tries to undo that thinking by highlighting the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr., Holocaust rescuers, Dorothy Day etc. If one was to look at figures in the last 10 years we might throw out the names of Mother Theresa, 911 Firefighters, Nelson Mandela...

So here is the question. Do we all have the responsibility to go that extra mile. Or, do we leave that to those who are somehow instinctively different than us: better somehow?

Flescher closes the book by reflecting on the writing of Tillich and other developmentalists in the world of ethics. He writes (with obvious note that this is lacking in theological language and approach) "We should be responsible in living, both responsible for ourselves and for our own development, and responsible for the welfare and well-being of others. Responsibility implies vigilance. It implies watching out for our character, directing it in ways that will resist the temptation to succumb to non-deliberate, unreflective living". That statement resonates so deeply with me. And even though this statement is not nuanced with the results of the transforming work of the cross and the spirit, does it challenge you? In what ways do you see the mainstream church living and thinking in ways that are "non-deliberate and unreflective".

This makes me want to be a better version of myself. It makes me want to embrace the hard questions and discussions. (David recoils in horror as he thinks, what more deep philosophical discussions?). It makes me want to journey into the hidden places of my head and heart. Sometimes things connect deeply with me because of where I am at the moment and so it is possible you may read these thoughts and go, "nah". But if something strikes you share it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Plagarism again....sorry Amy

My friend Amy always has interesting random questions on her blog and I have copied her before, so here I go again, with minor adjustments.
I love these kinds of things because it always gives me new insights into people.
Answer as many as you like...

1. Salty or sweet?
2. Coke or Pepsi?
3. Decaf or double shot?
4. Early riser or night owl?
5. Clinton or Obama?
6. Thompson or ???
7. Italian or Chinese food?
8. Vanilla or Chocolate?
9.Favorite kind of date night?

Photo Update

This is Diego our new "dorkie" pupppy. It is a yorkie, doxon mix and Spencer's first pet. Seriously, what were we thinking. He is pretty cute I have to say. Disney our prissy but lovely cat is certain that life as she knows it is over forever. And, yes she is correct!
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Photo Update

Michaela all set in her uniform for the first day of 6th grade at Ascension Academy. What an awesome school!
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Photo Update

This is Spencer ready for the first day of 1st grade! Check out the cool messenger bag instead of the traditional backpack. He knew exactly what he wanted at the store and is pretty sure his bag is the coolest thing ever!
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Why no blogging?

About every 6 months or so there is a long lull in my blog posts. Things get busy and I begin living in too many worlds which means I choose to let this go for awhile. I struggle to let things go and so it is always hard to make that choice.

This absence is due to the following reasons:
1. My Ethics class meets for the first weekend beginning Thursday. I am behind in my reading. Way behind. Like so far behind that I will probably be writing a paper based on incomplete reading. This is new for me. As a student I follow rules (at least I do someplace in my life). I read everything and I submit everything on time. Oh well, there is a first time for everything!

2. David and I are teaching Life on the Vine on Sunday mornings in our Bible Class. He decided that I should handle the "content" and he would do the application portion. So I am spending extended time with Kenneson working through this material. So far it is going well.

3. I am in a phase where I am craving order and things being up to date. Because of my inability to handle stress well, I usually keep things running pretty well because if too much piles up I can't cope. But laundry and chores and papers being filed away etc had gotten out of hand over the summer and so I have been almost manic about getting my life caught up. I think I am there...for this second anyway. Mail will come today. Laundry will be generated today. Dishes will mount up....but I can manage one day at a time, it is just the pit that seemed to evolve over the summer that was not very pleasing to me!!!!

4. I am doing a 4 hour per week marketing job for a local Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. It is is awesome, but marketing is hard to keep to the hours I spend in the office, so it is bleeding over and filling all sorts of nooks and crannies of my life.

5. School is back and while that frees up my time a tad and means the house stays picked up almost all day, it means school volunteering is back too. I enjoy being connected to the life of the school and knowing the teachers and administrators. Somehow it makes it easier to leave your kids there all day when you feel invested. I am especially grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at Michaela's school as a way to get to know a new place.

6. My favorite part of ministry is the relational aspect of it. And so with the kids back in school I can get back to my regular coffee times, lunch meetings and general hanging out times with friends and those who I am in discipling relationships with.

7. And then there is just living, you know what I mean?

Hopefully I am back to blogging on a regular basis it is such good therapy for me.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Jim Clarification

A few weeks back, I posted about how happy I was that Dan was back preaching after a summer of vacation and sabbatical. I had a comment posted by Jim and I just merrily assumed it was my friend Jim. N. Why I assumed this is still a mystery given that I comment frequently on my other friend Jim M.'s blog. I even link to it on my page. And that the other Jim N. is a blog reader and not a commenter. I replied in the comments back to him making reference to a few "inside jokes". He chose today, 3 weeks or so later, to tell me it wasn't him.

Here is the moral of the story.
1. Don't use the blog comments section for "inside jokes" unless you want to look like a candidate for creepy girl of the year.
2. When you click on the link that your commenter's name brings up actually read it!
3.If you are to make a mistaken identity error, pray hard that you mistake your Jim N. with the Jim M. you have listed in your blog links. Jim Martin is a fellow minister who I love and respect and am always challenged by. And, I might add he is gracious - gracious enough not to have replied back with a WHAT???? I am sure he was a little taken aback by my warm fuzzy declarations of how connected I feel to him and how I love him, but nevertheless he was gracious.

So Jim N. get yourself a blog profile so you can at least comment and I can harass you over the Internet!!!!